Washington workers get biggest jump in pay since recession
It’s the biggest jump in pay for Washington workers since before the recession, as wages grew an average 5.5 percent in 2018 across all industries, to an average of more than $65,000 a year.
Washington has been making a slow, 10-year climb out of the economic hole left by the recession, and this is another indicator of that recovery.
Part of what’s driving wages is up is an explosion in job growth. King County has just 2.8 percent unemployment, lower than the national average of 3.3 percent. It shows that almost everyone who wants a job can get one, since workers are in high demand.
“We’re reaching something that would be called full employment, meaning that most people who are able and capable of being employed have a really good chance of becoming employed right now,” said state economist Paul Turek.
The biggest wage gain was among the retail sector, where wages were up almost 17 percent, largely due to Amazon, Turek added.